The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Wellpinit geometry teacher, who advises Junior to leave the reservation. Mr. P is one of many “weird” and “lonely” characters in the novel, such as Mary, Junior, and Gordy, and is known in Wellpinit for frequently falling asleep and forgetting to come to school. Mr. P, who is white, has lived and taught on the reservation for many years, and confesses to Junior that he used to be part of a cruel education system designed to “kill the Indian to save the child,” for which he now feels he needs to atone. While the fact that he knew about, and encouraged, Mary’s secret hopes of becoming a writer suggests that he was once hopeful and competent enough to serve as a mentor, his other attributes as a teacher illustrate that he too has been absorbed into the reservation’s culture of depression and defeat. Importantly, however, he is the first adult to tell Junior that he deserves better than what he has.

Mr. P Quotes in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. P or refer to Mr. P. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown and Company edition of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian published in 2009.
Chapter 5 Quotes

“You’ve been fighting since you were born,” he said. “You fought off that brain surgery. You fought off those seizures. You fought off all the drunks and drug addicts. You kept your hope. And now, you have to take your hope and go somewhere where other people have hope.”

Related Characters: Mr. P (speaker), Junior (Arnold Spirit, Jr.)
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint

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Mr. P Character Timeline in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. P appears in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4 - Because Geometry Is Not a Country Somewhere Near France
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
The geometry teacher, Mr. P , is old and absentminded—so much so that he sometimes forgets to come to school.... (full context)
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Drawing, Writing, and Junior’s Cartoons Theme Icon
...he stands up in a rage and throws the book across the room, accidentally hitting Mr. P in the face. (full context)
Chapter 5 - Hope Against Hope
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Having broken Mr. P ’s nose, Junior is suspended from school. It’s the first time he’s really been in... (full context)
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Junior is “freaked out” by Mr. P ’s questions about why he threw the book, and frightened when the teacher says what... (full context)
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Mr. P explains that as a young teacher at the reservation school, he was part of an... (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Drawing, Writing, and Junior’s Cartoons Theme Icon
Mr. P reveals to Junior that Mary used to want to be a writer; before she gave... (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Mr. P doesn’t want Junior to give up like his sister did. In an emotional speech, he... (full context)
Chapter 6 - Go Means Go
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
After thinking about Mr. P ’s words to him, Junior tells his parents that he wants to transfer immediately to... (full context)